Discrimination is adverse treatment of any staff, faculty, student and administrator based on the protected class or category of persons to whom he/she belongs, rather than on the basis of his/her individual merit, with respect to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment or academic standing.

Federal and State Law: Under Federal and New York State laws, it is illegal to discriminate against individuals, including:

  • Recruitment and selection
  • Compensation, assignment, or classification of individuals
  • Transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall
  • Job advertisements
  • Testing
  • Use of campus facilities
  • Training and apprenticeship programs
  • Fringe benefits
  • Pay, retirement plans, and disability leave or
  • Other terms and conditions of employment or academic standing
  • Retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices
  • Employment/academic decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, sexual orientation religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities and denying employment or academic opportunities to a person because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, an individual with a disability or other protected category.

Harassment is unwelcome verbal or physical conduct prohibited by law directed toward, or differential treatment of, an employee or student because of his/her membership in any Federal or New York State protected group or on any other prohibited basis. 

Harassment becomes unlawful when:

  • Enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment/academic standing, or
  • The conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work/learning environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile or abusive.

Examples of harassment based on protected categories include, but are not limited to:

  • Racial Slurs or Epithets
  • Treating an Individual Differently Because of the Individual’s Race, Sexual Orientation, National Origin, Sex, Religion or Other Protected Categories
  • Unwelcome Sexual Advances
  • Sexual Innuendoes, Comments and Sexual Remarks
  • Racial and Sexual Graffiti
  • Telling Jokes Pertaining to Protected Categories
  • Suggestive, Obscene or Insulting Sounds
  • Posters, Email, Cartoons, Pictures Displayed in the Work Area that Creates an Offensive and Intimidating Environment
  • Implied or Expressed Threat of Reprisal for Refusal to Comply with a Sexual Request
  • Patting, Pinching, Brushing up Against Another’s Body
  • Engaging in Threatening, Intimidating or Hostile Acts Towards an Individual because that Individual Belongs to or is Associated with any Protected Categories
  • Electronic transmission of derogatory, demeaning or hostile materials

Work/Learning Environments: A hostile work/learning environment results from harassing conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work or student’s learning and creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

A hostile work/learning environment may exist when verbal and/ or nonverbal behavior in the campus/workplace:

  • Occurs because of an individual being a member of a protected class (e.g., sex, race, sexual orientation, age).
  • Is unwanted or unwelcome.
  • Is severe or pervasive enough to unreasonably impact the employee’s work or student’s learning.

Third Party Harassment: The individual to whom the harassing conduct is aimed is not the only person who can complain about the harassment. Third parties may complain when the harassment directed at others adversely affects the other person’s work/learning environment. Third parties may also complain when offensive conduct, even if it is consensual between the parties involved, is creating a hostile work/learning environment for the third party.

Definitiion of Consensual Relationships

Siena College does not intrude upon private choices regarding personal relationships when these relationships do not violate the policies of the College, cause harm to the safety and wellbeing of members of campus community, or increase the risk of harm to the safety and wellbeing of members of campus community.

Consensual romantic or sexual relationships in which one party retains a direct supervisory or evaluative role over the other party are unethical, create a risk for real or perceived coercion, and are expressly a violation of this policy.  Furthermore, the possibility of a future amorous relationship may distort the present instructional or advisory relationship. Therefore, persons with direct supervisory, evaluative, grading, or academic advising responsibilities who are involved in such relationships must bring those relationships to the attention of their supervisor, and will likely result in the necessity to remove the staff member from the supervisory, evaluative, grading, or academic advising responsibilities.